98 Olds with 3.8 wont start

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Thread: 98 Olds with 3.8 wont start

  1. #1
    Walking
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    Question 98 Olds with 3.8 wont start

    Hi,

    I could really use some help. I have a 98 olds delta 88 that wont start. It was running, but running poorly. It then died on the side of the road. I checked the fuel pressure regulator and found that there was fuel in the vacuum line so I replaced that.

    When I went to try and start it, it wouldnt even crank over. I pulled the plugs and was able to turn it over, and it blew a bunch of liquid (gas?) out of one of the cylinders. I think it was hydraulic locked.

    I cleaned the plugs and replaced them, and when it still wont fire. I know that I have spark coming off of all three coil packs, and as far as I can tell I have fuel. You can smell it and when I check the pressure relief valve on the regulator ther eis fule there.

    I even tried giving it a shot of ether and it wont run on that either. Occasionally it will backfire, but it wont start.

    Someone suggested that the Intake Manifold (plenum) might be bad so I replaced that and went thru the exercise of clearing the cylinders again but it still wont start.

    I have started disassembly to check the timing belt to see if it broke, but have yet to get the harmonic balancer off, I guess I need a puller, I have the bolt out, but havent got the balancer off yet.

    If the timing belt is broken, I will at least know what might have happened, and then I need to decide if it is worth repairing. If the timing belt is ok, (I will change it anyway), what else could it be ?

    I have seen some mention of a CPS (crankshaft position sensor), if it goes out could it affect the timing enough so it wont run ?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    jon

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  3. #2
    6.0 Liter L76 V8 tom3's Avatar
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    Re: 98 Olds with 3.8 wont start

    No timing belt on that machine. First thing to check is the fuel pressure. A fitting on the fuel rail on the engine to check, use an old AC pressure gauge or something similiar. But you might be better off finding a good, reasonable mechanic at this point. Throwing parts/money at it is not a good way to go with a modern car.

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    Walking
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    Re: 98 Olds with 3.8 wont start

    Thanks for the reply, I take it then that the Crank shaft sensor and cam shaft sensor take the place of the timing belt ?

    I had the car at a local garage for over a week and the "couldnt find anything wrong", that was right before it quit.

    I will try to find another place. Is there a way to check and see if thee two sensors that control timing are working ? I will check the fuel pressure.

    thanks again

    jon

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    6.2 Liter LS3 V8 Premium Member T-Type's Avatar
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    Re: 98 Olds with 3.8 wont start

    Quote Originally Posted by tom3 View Post
    No timing belt on that machine.
    Are you sure about that? How else would you keep the crank and the valve train in sync?

    The crank and cam sensors are there for the ignition system to know when to fire the plugs.

    Based on your description, I'm leaning toward a timing chain issue. Cranks, won't start and occasionally backfires is classic timing chain problem symptoms.

    What year is the car and what is your mileage?

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    2.4 Liter SIDI ECOTEC FAB454's Avatar
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    Re: 98 Olds with 3.8 wont start

    Quote Originally Posted by JonRiley56 View Post
    Hi,

    I cleaned the plugs and replaced them, and when it still wont fire. I know that I have spark coming off of all three coil packs, and as far as I can tell I have fuel. You can smell it and when I check the pressure relief valve on the regulator ther eis fule there.

    check your firing order. Coils should be
    top
    6
    3

    2
    5

    4
    1
    The SS badge never was about looks, it's about performance and always should be.

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    Walking
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    Re: 98 Olds with 3.8 wont start

    The car has 133,000 miles on it. How do I get to the timing chain ? I had things stripped down all the way to having to remove the harmonic balancer. I was trying to figure out how to remove it, I had the bolt out, but wasnt sure how to remove it.

    It was suggested that my issue might be that the plugs were fouled, so i replaced them and re-assembled the engine and tried it again. Now I have an engine with new plugs that is doing the same thing.

    Please let me know what you think. Do I have a timing chain ? If so, how do I get to it, do I need a special puller to get the harmonic balancer off ?

    I really need to get this car back on the road.

    thanks

    jon

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    6.2 Liter LS3 V8 Premium Member T-Type's Avatar
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    Re: 98 Olds with 3.8 wont start

    I believe you do have a timing chain. If you get a gear puller, you should be able to get that harmonic balancer off. If you don't have one, I believe most auto part chain stores have them for rent (or for sale if you want).

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    Exclamation Re: 98 Olds with 3.8 wont start

    Hi,

    Here is the latest. I pulled the timing cover and the chain looks fine and the matks on the two gears line up the way htey should. I checked the fuel pressure just to make sure it was ok and I got 50 psi so that should be fine. I checked the plug wires to make sure the firing order was ok and it is.

    I have new spark plugs, I am getting spark on all cylinders, the timing chain is fine, I checked compression on all of the cylinders and they are all the same and do not leak down, so i seem to be ok on the compression front.

    What am I missing ? I have done all I know to do and it still wont fire. I really need to get it back on the road. I priced a pcm and it is about 260 plus tax, and I am not even sure that is the problem.

    Help !!

    jon

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    4.4 Liter Supercharged Northstar bouda's Avatar
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    Re: 98 Olds with 3.8 wont start

    Quote Originally Posted by JonRiley56 View Post
    When I went to try and start it, it wouldnt even crank over. I pulled the plugs and was able to turn it over, and it blew a bunch of liquid (gas?) out of one of the cylinders. I think it was hydraulic locked.
    jon
    If you blew a bunch of gas out of one cylinder i would guess that injector is stuck open,.

    That's just my guess though.

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    1.8 Liter ECOTEC dmach12001@yaho's Avatar
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    Re: 98 Olds with 3.8 wont start

    Hi John,

    I owned a 87 buick lesabre with similar issues. Would not start. The cylinder filling with fuel could be due to it cranking and not starting. I replaced the CPS (crankshaft position sensor) and bammo, it fired up. It is a very cheap and easy replacement. If it is not the cause, it wont set you back much anyway.

    Good Luck.
    I love that motor btw. I've owned a few.

    Dave...

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    Re: 98 Olds with 3.8 wont start

    I'd make sure the plenum isn't cracked and coolant is coming out the cylinders!!!!!!

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